[Top Page] > [Music Essay] > [Grand Dissection !:-) J.S.Bach's Invention No.1(3)]

[English](ENG) [Japanese/Nihongo](JPN) [Korean/Hangug-eo](KOR)

← Previous Article Next Article →

Grand Dissection !:-) J.S.Bach's Invention No.1(3)

Now, the remaining is for only 8 bars. I will "dissect" these bars as before. This is the 3rd section.

I already wrote, "The 2nd section is based on the 1st section, but these two sections have different character." The 3rd section which I will dissect has correspondence of the 1st section. It is not so clear as the 2nd section.

  The 1st subsection (15-18): corresponding the 1st subsection of the 1st section(1-2)
  The 2nd subsection (19-20): corresponding the 2nd subsection of the 1st section(3-4)
  The 3rd subsection (21-last): corresponding the 3rd subsection of the 1st section(5-6)

The correspondence is not so simple as between the 1st section(1-7) and the 2nd section(8-14) ; it is alternation of right hand and left hand. So I will show the correspondence between the 1st section and the 3rd section and new character of the 3rd section.
---------- In the following, I use sheet of music as image data. You may worry about it cannot be understand without using browser which can display images. But all of these can be downloaded. You can see all of these sheet of music using other image-display software and you will be able to understand the contents of this page. ----------

Now, we will see "the 1st subsection". It is as following sheet music.

[Invention 2-1 bar 15-18 (Note10.gif 2.53KB)]

At a glance, it seems to be completely different from the beginning. But both has the same way of treating figures , i.e., "One hand plays figure (A) (or its inversion) and another had imitates it." I show the beginning of this volume with comparison to be able to guess the correspondence readily. It can be said that the counterpoint of (A) is changed to the twice notes (It was eighth notes in the 1st section and the 2nd section.)

But its character is pretty different from the corresponding subsections in the 1st section or the 2nd section. The 1st subsection in this section does not have "establishment of key" or "thematic exposition", which is the character of the corresponding subsection in the 1st section (bars 1-2) . Compare with the corresponding subsection (bars 7-10) in the 2nd section. In the 2nd section, the 1st subsection has the tendency of raising and development. But in the 3rd section, the movement is quite "stationary". Firstly, "Twice notes" ... such long notes have not been used before. And, to see in twice notes, the movement is only in the range of second or third. This subsection can be called "stationary point" of this music. The movement just before this subsection is mainly with sixteenth notes. Changing from sixteenth notes to twice notes; it make us to some impression and we know this music entered to new stage.

The key changed from A-minor to F-major. F-major is the subdominant key in this music. It can be often observed to change key into subdominant in the latter half of music like this. For example, in fugue, themes in subdominant key often can be found in the latter half.

Now, go to "the 2nd subsection".

[Invention 2-1 bar 19-20 (Note11.gif 1.99KB)]

This is the 2nd subsection in the 3rd section. I expect that you can readily observe that it corresponds to the 2nd subsection in the 1st section (bars 3-4).There are sequence of figure (A) in right hand and sequence of augmented beginning of the inversion of figure (A) in left hand, while, in the 2nd subsection in the 1st section, we saw that there were sequence of the inverse of figure (A) and the augmented beginning of figure (A) in left hand. So whole of the 2nd subsection in the 3rd section is the inverse of the 2nd subsection in the 1st section. So there is tendency of rising up in the 2nd subsection in the 1st section while there is tendency of decline. How is the character of this subsection in this (the 3rd) section ? Corresponding subsection in the 1st section gave the impression of "bridge passage". But in the 3rd subsection, the impression is -- after the "stationary" 1st subsection, the movement is again started.

The last note of this subsection is C and the key is tonic C-major. The corresponding subsection in the 1st section (bars 3-4), the code of the last note is the 7th code of dominant of G-major. We should notice these difference. In the 1st section , the 2nd subsection is only "bridge passage". But, in the 3rd section, the 2nd subsection go towards the climax of this music. The last note of this subsection is the highest note of this music.

Now I will notice another point. I mentioned "the right hand plays the inversion of (A) in the 2nd subsection in the 1st section and it plays the (A) in the 2nd subsection in the 3rd section." But it is not only "inversion" but "retrograde". See below sheet music. It is a clever technique. The figure (A) seems to be very simple, but it has the power of great development like this.

Contrary Motion and Retrograde [Invention 2-1 bar 19-20 & 3-4 (Note12.gif 1.41KB)]

Now we will go to the 3rd subsection, i.e. last 2 bars of this music.

[Invention 2-1 bar 5-6, 13-14 and 20-22 (Note13.gif 5.23KB)]

I show the 3rd subsections of "all three" sections (bars 5-6 in the 1st section, 13-14 in the 2nd , and 20-22 in the 3rd) that we research the common character of and the difference between these three.

At first, the 3rd subsection in the 3rd section corresponds to the 3rd subsections in the former two sections. In detail the following two points are common.

But the 3rd subsection in the 3rd section has different character from ones in the 1st and the 2nd section. The place of figure (X) -- in the 1st and 2nd sections (bars 1-6 and 7-14) , it appears the end of subsections, and, in the 3rd sections, it appears the beginning of the 3rd subsection. The line of right hand -- the climax of the 3rd subsection is the starting point in the 3rd section while the climax of 3rd subsection is located in the latter half. So , in the 3rd section, the climax is located at the connecting point of the 2nd subsection and the 3rd subsection. So the 3rd subsection in the 3rd section has the character of "afterglow of climax". So we can say that it is "coda".

Now, we will see the structure of the whole of 3rd section.

The character of the 3rd section is "firstly, to stop the development in the 2nd section, and then to go towards the climax of tonic code". The structure is based on the 1st section, but the contents is fit for "to finish the music".

We dissected this short music in detail. We look back the structure of whole of music.

This is the whole of this music. Three sections has basically the same structure. But each section has its particular character. This is the reason of developing music of variety from simple figure. It is very precise composition.

This music does not have many note. So we can easily recognize the intention of the composer and the structure of the music. This is common in the other pieces of "Invention". We can say, "J.S.Bach's inventions are practical learning materials of music composition". In addition, I've already mentioned occasionally that "basic principle of music composition" can be found in this short music. These "basic principle" is used more large music such as "Sonata form" and "Fugue". You want to say, "Complete 'sonata form' was not established in Bach's period." But it is not correct. Seeing "invention No.6 (E major)" and "prelude No.5 (D major) and No.12 (F minor)" in "Welltempered Clavier II", Bach constructed well-established sonata form. "Invention I" is consolidated his great art of music composition such like these pieces of "sonata form" music.

I propose you to watch the sheet of this music in detail. You will find other new things when you watch and listen this music. The things I said in this page is only the small part of the attraction of this music. This music is quite small, but its world is very large and deep.

** The sheet of music in this page are made with "MusicTime Deluxe for Windows 3.1 and 95" ((C) 1996 Passport Designs Inc.)

(1998.Nov.28 in Japanese. 2000.Sep.23 in English)

← Previous Article Next Article →

[Back]Return to "Music Essay" Index

Please let me know your impression via e-mail or BBS.

[Top]Return to top page